Fans of gaming would’ve most definitely tuned into perhaps one of the more popular game anime of last year, and that’s New Game! What makes the show so great is that it illustrates the gaming industry from what’s typically a male dominated world, into a more female driven enterprise with plenty of laughs along with it. The other plus is that New Game paints a real picture about just how difficult working in the gaming industry can be, regardless of gender and experience. As someone who has worked directly with the industry as a whole and a passionate gamer to add, New Game! does a splendid job of creating a balance between reality and fun, and doesn’t steer you in the wrong direction. This show is truly an inspiration to anyone looking to venture into games, and so we’re going to take a look at our favorite New Game! characters who truly inspired us to keep going.
9. Hazuki Shizuku
Hazuki Shizuku isn’t a predominant character in the series, since she makes those random appearances at times with her cat. What, however, is perhaps so inspiring about Hazuki is that despite her lack of presence around much of the cast, she still creates an impact from behind the scenes. Whenever she’s given camera time, Hazuki makes a conscious effort to keep the team on track of what’s going on, and mediate the situation if things go sour. She’s like that one person who comes in late at a party, and turns heads because she just demands attention in every possible way.
Hazuki’s unobtrusive and doesn't get in anyone’s way, but still leaves an impression on Aoba and the team with her lazy cat, Mozuku. She is after all the game director, so leading the team to success is perhaps her greatest mission. At times Hazuki will impulsively make changes to the game design not out of ill intent, but because Hazuki truly wants the best from her team and you can clearly see that in her cute yet devoted demeanor.
8. Agahon Umiko
Agahon is a truly unique specimen because despite having a very drill sergeant exterior in the workplace, her heart is genuinely kind and she’s quite shy most of the time. Perhaps this is why Agahon is so inspirational not only to us but to the New Game! team, because she’s like a work in progress always trying to find new ways of communicating without trying to hurt anyone. Agahon is in love with everything related to the military, and her desk is full of air guns along with other supplies. Despite most of the team being weary of her having all of these odd things around, Agahon shows her kindness but in a tsundere kind of way.
She’ll go out of her way to help anyone in need, and even take you out on an air gun date to create an icebreaker. Agahon doesn’t try to get in your face at all, but her stern yet nurturing attitude is perhaps what a lot of us need sometimes when we cross the line too much. Think of Agahon like that one strict teacher you had back in grade school who you thought was scary, but then years down the road you look back and thank that person because their diligence and dedication to ensure your success was their priority.
7. Iijima Yun
Yun is quite self conscious about her weight, but that doesn’t stop her from getting things done when the clock’s against her. Yun is very hard working and always makes sure that everything is in the green before she wanders off to enjoy her own life. She’s exceptionally kind and giving, going out of her way to bring the team treats when they’re working away in the office. This act of selflessness is what truly inspires us because, it’s not often that you’ll have someone who will go out of their own way to present you with food and be more than willing to get you more if needed. Yun may not want to gain weight herself, but she wants everyone else to gain from the bottom of her heart.
She’s a real giver and isn’t shy to admit that, especially in episode 10 when Aoba and Hifumi bring donuts to the office and Yun is more than happy to share her donuts. It’s not that Yun is trying to suck up to anyone, it’s that Yun understands that kindness goes a long way and good karma reaps rewards in the end. Yun is a great role model for everyone because she sacrifices her own time and energy to ensure that everyone is happy around her, and for that everyone else makes a conscious effort to return that favor in a big way.
6. Sakura Nene
Nene chan is the close friend of Aoba and is really a colorful person. Nene always wants to be by Aoba’s side and behaves a lot like a younger sister. When an opportunity arose to work alongside Aoba at Eagle Jump, she sprang into action and took the part time position quickly. The only problem that she realized once getting into the position was that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Nene took the position of a game tester, and while the job may seem quite elementary to a lot of people looking from the outside, it’s truly a lot of work. Nene not only had to stay in the office for long hours taking note of every bug she encountered in the game, but now her social life was cut in half.
This is where she truly inspires us because despite having to deal with the scary Agahon as her manager, and finding faults in a video game, Nene persevered while managing to keep her head in the game. Agahon was even surprised about this because Nene took exceptionally good notes while under a lot pressure due to time constraints around the game release. Agahon and the rest of the team praised her for her efforts, and along the way realized that you can never judge a book by its cover. While Nene can sometimes be a wild child, her work ethic is that of a true boss and for that we commend her.
5. Shinoda Hajime
Hajime is the social butterfly out of the whole crew and is fearless in her daily routine. Her desk is full of figurines and games which truly makes her an otaku (plus points), and she definitely isn’t shy to admit that. Hajime’s open mind and free spirited attitude is what this world lacks these days, since everyone is so caught up in trying to be serious and stingy. Hajime brings a new light to the group because she works extremely hard and goes out of her way as well to give advice to newcomers when necessary. This is truly an inspirational girl because she knows how to work hard and play harder.
When the crew feels worn out and tired, Hajime steps in and gets everyone’s energy back up to 100% because that’s just who she is. It’s like that energy drink that we sometimes need at the end of the working day to get us through those final hours. Not only that but Hajime really just changes the entire mood almost immediately, and now everybody wants to go to the onsen to have a relaxing time. You see this in episode 9 when the team had to stay overtime to put on the finishing touches to their game, and Hajime is thrilled about this since it would be a great occasion to finally let go off the work load and spray each other in the face with hand water guns.
4. Takimoto Hifumi
Hifumi is one of the veterans on the Eagle Jump team, being there well before Aoba made her appearance. Hifumi is a very shy and quiet person, only responding to text messages on the computer if you needed help. That was in the beginning of the show when she really didn’t know anybody. Hifumi’s character is inspiring because she’s that type that generally has a hard time opening up in the beginning, but if you approach her about it she’s extremely happy to release all the joy. Hifumi is an undercover otaku and you’ll see that in later episodes, but it’s truly funny to see that side of her because while she’s incredibly obedient in the office, outside she’s a breath of fresh air.
It’s not that she’s trying to play two personas, but Hifumi is genuinely not the type to pursue conversations openly unless someone greets her. This is a great example of just staying in your lane and not trying to meddle in the business of others. Just focus on what you love and eventually, someone will notice that and boom you’ve just made a new friend. Out of all the characters in the series, Hifumi is perhaps the one that relates to us the most because she’s pure, delicate, and yet has this amazing side of her that you’d never expect had you just looked at her from the surface.
3. Tooyama Rin
Rin is the art director for Eagle Jump and the close friend of Yagami Kou. Perhaps even more than just a friend because Rin certainly goes out of her way to ensure that Yagami gets the rest she needs, and stays healthy at all times. Rin is like a mother to everyone on the team, especially with Yagami because she doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to your well being and will do whatever it takes to keep you well maintained. She’s strict like a mother but in a nurturing type of way, where it’s not aggressive but you still know that orders must be obeyed.
Her well kept exterior only further exemplifies her motherly approach because she knows how to dress, and isn’t afraid to show off some curves. The relationship between Rin and Yagami at times seems like a romance because they’re so interlocked with each other so much of the time, that you’d think they’re dating. However their deep bond is like that of a mother with her daughter, it’s well beyond love at this point and you can see that written all over their faces.
2. Yagami Kou
As we stated earlier, Yagami is like the Yang to Rin’s Yin. Yagami is typically shy at work, and works so much that she often sleeps under the desk in just her underwear. She prides herself on this because she’s the lead character designer. Yagami believes that her unwillingness to carry out demanding orders was due to a traumatic situation in the past that made her feel remorseful. This is why in most of the show she’ll usually carry out orders but not in a very demanding way. So how is she an inspiration? Well for the most part Yagami’s a workaholic and will go hours on end with no break to make sure things are in full order. This is to prevent her game from being delayed, but to also keep the entire team in check as well.
When one person is dedicating their time to ensuring the best out of their work, that energy spreads to the rest of the team and you could clearly see that towards the end of the series. Aoba really stepped her game up due to the devotedness of Yagami, while the rest of the team listened to her carefully and carried out those orders in time for the release window. Yagami is essentially like that one coach we all need in our lives, not the one that yells in your face all day, but the one that leads by example in their actions and willingness to succeed.
1. Suzukaze Aoba
Aoba certainly deserves the number one spot because well, she’s the star of the show both literally and figuratively. Aoba came out of university wanting to seek a job that would help build her portfolio in some way, and that opportunity came to her at the perfect time. Aoba has always loved games from Eagle Jump especially Fairies Story, and the minute the chance came to work on her favorite title, she jumped right at it. Aoba is an inspiration to many because she’s the definition of a go getter, one that doesn’t need to rely on others to make a decision and will follow her heart knowing that it’s the best option. While she does tend to make a lot of mistakes early on in her position, Yagami and the team always correct her and Aoba then takes the reigns once again.
It’s not that she isn’t open to advice or help from others, it’s that she’s self sufficient and doesn’t depend on anyone. Aoba is perhaps the one character that actually relates 100% because here at Honey’s Anime, many of us all go getters and we don’t stop until everything is finished. While Hifumi’s pure and honest character matches our persona as well, it’s Aoba’s willingness to always seek change for the better that inspired us the most. She reminds us that you don’t need to have a large group of friends around, all you need are the ones who will help you succeed.
New Game! is one game that, if it truly were a game, we’d most likely not want to turn it off because there’s just so much variety. You have a large cast of characters, all of whom come with different characteristics that somehow mesh together so well that it makes watching the show so entertaining. You get a taste of different flavors, almost as if walking through a buffet of sorts, and there’s just always something new to try and experience. New Game! Challenge Stage is now out in Japan for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, so if you truly want a gaming experience from this series, then definitely grab a copy! You’ll be amazed!
As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.